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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Besser’

Barbara Walters Farewell: ‘True, I Was the First Female Co-Host… But Also True, I Was a Flop’

WaltersSawyerIt was a star-studded farewell for Barbara Walters at New York City’s Four Seasons restaurant tonight. From comedian Joan Rivers to commissioner Bill Bratton; from New York’s chronicler of scandal, Cindy Adams, to the man who plays the president on “Scandal,” Tony Goldwyn; from actor Woody Allen to attorney David Boies, But mostly, the pool room was packed with Walters’ fellow TV news colleagues and those ladies — past and present — from “The View.” Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd; Meredith Vieira and Joy Behar.

Following a best of Barbara video, Disney Chairman Bob Iger welcomed the crowd, before Walters delivered a few words of thanks and admitting it hasn’t always been easy. “True, I was the first female co-host of a network news program. But also true, I was a flop. My male co-host didn’t want a partner and neither did the audience. I was drowning, gasping for air. Then someone threw me that life preserver called Specials with the biggest stars in news and show business and I learned how to swim again.”

Current and former evening news anchors were there, including Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams who arrived with Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric and fiancé John Molner; and Connie Chung (who was part of an ill-fated co-anchor pairing with Dan Rather) and husband Maury Povich. We caught up with early risers Savannah Guthrie and George Stephanopoulos along with their spouses, Mike Feldman, and Ali Wentworth, respectively, as they were heading out. Guthrie’s “Today” colleague Al Roker and his wife, ABC correspondent Deborah Roberts made the rounds as well.

Walters continued: “I’m grateful to the legendary Roone Arledge for bringing me to ABC News; thankful to David Westin for his steady leadership; to Ben Sherwood – you made us all believe we could win and with your leadership and passion, we did; and James Goldston – I’m told that all our shows are number one at the moment – you should quit right now.” Sherwood, Goldston and Westin were all on hand, as were other ABC News executives including Barbara Fedida, David Sloan, Jeanmarie Condon and John Green.

We spotted Jenny McCarthy hand-in-hand with fiance Donnie Wahlberg; the “Nightline” team of Juju ChangDan Abrams, and Dan Harris as well as a host of correspondents and anchors from ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC and Fox, including Elizabeth VargasAmy RobachDavid MuirNorah O’DonnellJon KarlGio Benitez, Dr. Richard Besser, Tory JohnsonRick Klein, Brian Ross, Mara Schiavocampo, Thomas RobertsAlicia MenendezHoda Kotb, Greta Van Susteren and Lisa Ling, a former “View” co-host, now woking on a new show for CNN.

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Multimedia Journalism

Multimedia JournalismStarting September 25, learn how to create interactive packages with photos, audio, and video! Taught by a multiplatform journalist, Darragh Worland will teach you how to come up stories that would be best told in a multimedia format, and create original content for that package using photos, slideshows, and short video and audio pieces. Register now! 
 

TVNewser’s 2014 Guide To Graduation Speakers

Class-of-2014. jpgAs is TVNewser tradition, here now is our seventh annual list of who’s-speaking-where-and-when at the nation’s colleges and universities (in alphabetical order):

CNBC’s Guy AdamiQuinnipiac University (CT), May 10

CNN’s Brooke Baldwin: University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication (NC), May 11

ABC’s Richard Besser: University of Michigan School of Public Health (MI), May 1

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: Cansius College  (NY), May 17

Bloomberg’s Michael Bloomberg: Harvard University (MA), May 29… Williams College (MA), June 8

CNN’s Gloria Borger: Colgate University (NY), May 18

FNC’s Dr. Ben CarsonRegent University (VA), May 3

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Toasting Tory Johnson for Making the ‘Shift’ and Shedding 72 Pounds

At her book party for “Shift: How I Finally Lost Weight and Discovered a Happier Life,” “Good Morning America” contributor Tory Johnson told the story about what set her on the path, once and for all, to shed unwanted pounds. It was a conversation she had with Barbara Fedida, SVP of talent development and one of her bosses at ABC News.

The advice was so meaningful, that Johnson dedicates the book to Fedida: “For telling me what I needed to hear.”

Fittingly, Fedida hosted the party the East Side home she shares with husband ESPN Radio’s Andrew Brill. Always cheerful in her “Steals & Deals” segments, Johnson says she hasn’t been truly this happy in a long time. In 20 months, she’s lost 72 pounds — equivalent to two dogs, so said her teenage twins Jake and Emma. (The family beagle Marly weighs in at 35 lbs.) And Johnson did it on the sly, without telling her “GMA” family, until it became clear she was on a mission.

Before heading to the US Weekly event where she was honored, “GMA” anchor Robin Roberts toasted Johnson for the dedication she showed. ABC News president Ben Sherwood also raised a glass, praising Johnson for her determination and her penchant for giving really BIG GIFTS, including the two giant stuffed animals she’s given to his kids over the years. Sherwood gave Johnson her “GMA” job when he was EP of the show in the mid-2000′s Johnson’s first job in TV was as an intern at ABC’s “20/20.”

TVNewser also spotted ABC News anchors Lara Spencer, Cynthia McFadden, Amy Robach and Josh Elliot; correspondents Byron Pitts, Deborah Roberts and Gio Benitez; execs Susan Mercandetti, James Goldston, David Sloan, Morgan Hertzen, Jeffrey Schneider, Eric Avram and Sandy Cannold. Former “GMA” EP Jim Murphy, now senior EP of CNN’s “New Day.” Also, David Zincenko, Dr. Richard Besser, Deborah Norville, and Barbara Corcoran, who assisted Sherwood in presenting a gift to Johnson: a box full of zero-calorie pickles — a favorite snack on her journey.

WABC anchors David Navarro, Lee Goldberg Rob Powers and Lori Stokes also attended. We had a nice chat with meteorologist Amy Freeze (her real last name) about the science behind the weather — and also raising four kids in a two-bedroom apartment in New York City. Freeze also told us she has benefited from the “Fedida plan,” as it’s become known in the halls of ABC.

Controversy Surrounds Jenny McCarthy Hire On ‘The View’

As we noted this week, actress Jenny McCarthy will be joining ABC’s “The View” in the Fall. The addition may have seemed innocuous at first, but has in fact resulted in a firestorm of controversy.

At issue is this: McCarthy is an advocate for the idea that childhood vaccinations are the root cause of Autism, an idea that has been thoroughly discredited by the medical community. Moreover, in communities where vaccination rates have slipped, diseases that have long vanished are springing up again, like measles and whooping cough.

As it happens, after the McCarthy announcement, ABC News chief medical editor Richard Besser took to Twitter to show his support for vaccinations:
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The Ticker (ABC Edition): Hertzan, Besser, GH

  • Morgan Hertzan is joining ABC News as VP of a new non-fiction content development business for ABC’s cable, broadcast and digital operations. He’ll report to James Goldston. Hertzan joins ABC News from Plum TV. Before that, he was an SVP at NBC and GM of LX.TV.

  • “Tell Me the Truth, Doctor,” out later this month, is the first book from ABC’s health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser. Dr. Besser delivers practical answers to the questions he hears every day empowering readers with vital information.

  • Today marks the 50th anniversary of ABC’s “General Hospital,” one of the remaining daytime dramas still on the air. Members of the cast rang the opening bell at the NYSE this morning, which got a mention on the cable news networks.

Dr. Jennifer Ashton Joins ABC News Medical Unit

Dr. Jennifer Ashton has been named senior medical contributor to the ABC News Medical Unit, ABC chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser announced today.

“You’ve likely seen firsthand her ability to explain clearly complex medical topics – from c-sections to psychiatry and mammograms – and relate to viewers,” Besser wrote. “We are truly fortunate to add her thoughtful perspective and expertise to the talented medical unit at ABC News.”

Ashton jumped to ABC from CBS last year to c0-host “The Revolution,” which was canceled in July to make way for “Good Afternoon America.”

Read Besser’s full note after the jump. Read more

Colorado Shooting: 14 Killed, 50 Injured in Massacre at ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Screening

The network morning shows have devoted much of the first hour of their broadcasts to the massacre at an Aurora, CO movie theater. During a midnight screening of the new Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises,” a 24-year-old gunman opened fire. Initial reports put the death toll at 14 with 50 others are injured. The gunman is in custody. Update: At 8:09 on “Today” an Aurora police officer updated the number of killed to 12. “We know there are 10 inside the theater that are dead, with two additional that died at local hospitals.”

The networks dispatched correspondents to the scene: Barry Peterson on CBS, Clayton Sandell on ABC. NBC had a report from Jace Larson a reporter for KUSA. The networks brought in crime, justice and medical correspondents: former FBI spokesman John Miller now a correspondent for “CBS This Morning” reported that Dan Oates, the police chief in Aurora was an NYPD Deputy Chief serving during 9/11. NBC’s Pete Williams reported on the weapons used Update: At 8:03, Williams identified the suspect as James Holmes, born Dec. 13, 1987. On ABC, Dr. Richard Besser reported on the injuries. The youngest shooting victim is a 6-year-old and is being treated.

Network bookers worked overtime bringing in eyewitness reports. Rounding out the reporting were cell phone videos and urgent 911 calls recounting the horror. Denver news choppers hovered over the suspect’s apartment which had been evacuated as police searched for explosives.

Fox News anchor Anita Vogel broke in with the news at 4:30am. CNN “Early Start” anchors John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin started their program early with the news at 4:44am. ABC’s Jake Tapper reports Pres. Obama was made aware of the news at 5:26amET by his Homeland Security adviser. The next news conference is scheduled for 1pmET.

> Update, 9amET: “CBS This Morning” is producing a third hour at 9am. The third hour of “Today” is devoted to the shooting aftermath. ABC News talked with a San Diego woman identifying herself as James Holmes’s mother. “You have the right person. I need to call the police,” she added. “I need to fly out to Colorado.”

> More: “Today” passed on airing its Friday concert this morning with Hot Chelle Ray. Said Al Roker “Because of the severity of the news we’ve decided — they’ve been performing for the crowd outside so they’re not disappointed — we’re going to bring that to you a little bit later sometime next week.” At 8:30am, “GMA” promoted its summer concert with Karmen and Dragonette, but did not broadcast any of it.

> Update, 10:05ET: The network morning shows are going live on the west coast for the 7 AM hour, with the full anchor teams in place.

ABC Plans ‘Hunger at Home: Crisis in America’ Series

This week, ABC News is kicking off a division-wide series called “Hunger at Home: Crisis in America.” Reporting will be done by weekend anchor David Muir, who has also reported this summer on the famine in Somalia, as well as Steve Osunsami, chief medical editor Richard Besser, and Deborah Roberts. The reports, which will begin on Wednesday, will air on “Good Morning America,” as well as “World News with Diane Sawyer” and “Nightline,” and will draw attention to the growing hunger problem on the homefront:

Robin Roberts heads to South Africa as part of Gates Foundation ‘Be the Change’ Series

After today’s “Good Morning America” co-host Robin Roberts and ABC’s chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser are heading to South Africa as part of ABC’s year-long global health series “Be the Change: Save a Life,” sponsored in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Roberts will profile Mothers2Mothers, a program meant to help prevent the transmission of HIV from mother to child. It was founded by Dr. Besser’s brother Dr. Mitch Besser. She’ll also report on children in Tanzania making a difference in the fight against malaria.

Roberts will also co-anchor “GMA” live Monday morning from Cape Town.

TV News Journalists Returning to Haiti Following Cholera Outbreak

Over the weekend, word spread that an outbreak of cholera has sprung up on Haiti, the island nation that was devastated by an earthquake nine months ago.

While the pictures may not be as dramatic as the ones viewers saw during the earthquake, the disease has the potential to kill or seriously affect thousands of people.

The TV news organizations have dispatched a number of correspondents and producers to the area to cover the outbreak.

CNN will have chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta in Haiti  joined by his senior producer Danielle Dellorto.

CBS News has its medical correspondent, Dr. Jon LaPook on the island, where he will give his first report on the “CBS Evening News” tonight.

ABC News medical editor Dr. Richard Besser is in the country covering the outbreak, and filed a report for”Good morning America” this morning. Video of that report, after the jump.

NBC News’ chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman was in St. Marc, which Snyderman calls “the epicenter of the cholera epidemic.”

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